startup rundown

Startup News: Whitney Dominates Google and Nike Creates Accelerator for the Athletic Among Us

Tumblr does gifts instead of GIFs.
Ms. Houston (Photo: Wikipedia.org)

Ms. Houston (Photo: Wikipedia.org)

And I Will Always Google You Google just released its year-end zeitgeist list and Whitney Houston was named the most searched person and term of the year. Gangnam Style clocked in as the second most searched thing of the year and the now-pregnant duchess Kate Middleton was the second most searched person in 2012. In terms of New York’s search history, Hurricane Sandy took the number one slot and was followed by “MTA” and then “NY Knicks” (The new Brooklyn Nets didn’t manage to crack the top 10). In terms of restaurants, Nobu was the most searched place to eat in New York, but Daniel and Chef’s Table didn’t fall too far behind.

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Tumblr Tumblr is instructing its users to tag their favorite posts “#TumblrGiftGuide.” The Tumblr team then will troll through the entries and reblog the best entries onto the official Holiday Gift Guide Tumblr. A look on the site shows a knit skull and a case for an iPad with cute typewriters all over it. No GIFs are currently on the site or for sale anywhere in the world.

Just Disrupt It Nike has announced a partnership with TechStars Oregon’s branch to create an accelerator called the Nike+ Accelerator. The company plans to host ten companies for a three-month mentor-driven accelerator experience in Portland. The companies have to make products that integrate with Nike’s fitness-tracking Nike+ technology. But how will they get to test any of the equipment if they’re coding all day long?

Cooler To Look At Than Macy’s Christmas Windows NYU’s winter ITP show takes place this weekend. Projects made by students in the two-year graduate program will be on display. Some of this year’s entries include an app that lets you find hungry friends to eat with and a site that lets you capture a friend’s reaction to a YouTube video. Cue up all of those videos where something jumps out and scares you.

Zuck Saves The Children Citizen Schools, a NYC nonprofit, has partnered with low-performing middle schools and volunteers from companies like Google and Facebook, to organize an after school program that encourages kids to learn more than just what goes on in the classroom. This Friday at Bronx Writing Academy, a middle school, the students will show off projects that include solar-powered cars and video games they programmed themselves. Software engineers, designers, and programmers from Facebook who’ve been teaching all semester will be there to watch their proud pupils.

And It’s Just Like Honey We could all use a couple discounts this holiday season, so thank God for Honey, a Chrome extension that automatically scans the web for discount codes and then instantly deducts money from your total bill at checkout. It works with a ton of websites including Amazon, Nike, and Sephora. After a big boost from Reddit, the extension has been downloaded about 60,000 times. Honey said in a press release sent to Betabeat that “at just 7,000+ installs, Honey had saved consumers $30,000.” That’s a lot of extra gifts that you can buy for your mom.

I’m Feeling Very Lucky The search technology startup Q-Sensei Corp just announced the end of a Series A-2 funding round led by Verizon Ventures. $1.175M was raised which raises the total of its seed and Series A funding to over $5 million. Richard N. Nottenburg, the former CEO of Sonus Networks and graduate of NYU Poly, also now joins Q-Sensei’s board.

Be My Benefactor Recent college graduates who want to achieve their dreams while still battling their impossible mountains of debt now have a new solution. Pave, a company that matches up the young and hopeless with backers who want to help the youth achieve their dreams through mentoring and/or cash sponsorship – often allowing them to buy raspberry ketones and other mental-focus supplements for exams. In turn, when prospects turn a profit, they reward their backers with a percentage of earnings. It’s like turning your poor post-grad life into a Kickstarter project.